Noise! Yourself, Also Distrain
MASSIMODECARLO is pleased to present Noise! Yourself, Also Distrain by the Chicago-based artist Tony Lewis (Los Angeles, USA, 1986). The exhibition constitutes the second chapter after Sing Plunder, Think Gentle Damage, Maintain Tomorrow, Et Al. hosted at the gallery this Fall.
Tony Lewis presents four new large scale vibrant drawings, where graphite and coloured pencils generate dynamic shapes on paper, displayng the artist’s signature glyph alphabet, influenced by his fascination with stenography.
Continuing to explore the Gregg Shorthand system and its connection to sound and language, Lewis uses shorthand notation that translates sounds into curving and bisecting lines. Lewis develops his exploration of ontology and the epistemology of language into a wider investigation that reflects upon the hierarchical systems within society and the complexity of the black American experience. The Gregg Shorthand system is a light-line stenography consisting of a phonetic shorthand based on elliptical and bisecting lines, invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888. It was the most popular form of pen stenography in the United States and is still in use today, albeit less so than before due to mainstream digitalization.
Each drawing starts with a graphite symbol which is the foundation of his biomorphic compositions. The repeated colour scheme (red, yellow, blue, and green) is reminiscent of childhood building blocks to provide a simple, direct contrast between the shapes as they are formed in response to the pre-existing Gregg Shorthand graphite form. The titles of the works - "Also" , "Distrain" , "Noise", "Yourself" - reflects the meaning of the glyphs on paper. The poetics of this work is woven into Lewis’s exploration of drawing and language as forms of abstraction. The gestural lines appear as abstract mark-making to those unable to read stenographic script. However, each word in this series delineates a message about identity, race and communication, often referencing historical facts or current events.
Tony Lewis uses his drawing as a tool to investigate the presence and role of language today, conveying a message that is hidden in plain sight.
托尼·刘易斯 1986 年出生于洛杉矶。 他目前在芝加哥生活和工作。
刘易斯的实践侧重于符号学和语言之间的关系，以应对种族、权力、交流和劳工等社会和政治话题。 刘易斯使用石墨、铅笔和纸进行绘画，艺术家使用这些媒介来追踪和发展抽象叙事以及对手势概念的反思。 通过突破绘画的界限和抽象的可能性，他扩展了语言“材料”的使用。 正如赫希霍恩博物馆馆长 Melissa Chiu 所言：“刘易斯通过形成独特的视觉语汇，将诗歌和文本与抽象属性融为一体，迅速在当代艺术界站稳了脚跟，他的单色绘画取材于各种视觉和书面来源 ，从个人到政治。 他通过分离、重新排列和删除文本，改变了我们在语言中移动的方式，从而开辟了新的、意想不到的阅读方式。
刘易斯参加了 2014 年在纽约惠特尼美国艺术博物馆举办的惠特尼双年展，并获得了布兰代斯大学罗斯艺术博物馆 2017-2018 年露丝·安和内森·珀尔穆特驻场艺术家奖 ，马萨诸塞州沃尔瑟姆